Become certified to provide specialized assistance to individuals with disabilities resulting from injury, disease or a developmental disorder.

As a physical therapist, you will help your patients to improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disability. It is an excellent vocation for those who are called to apply their knowledge and compassion in ways which improve the quality of others’ lives.

Stand out and get in

Calvin can prepare you to succeed in a very competitive field:

  • Take advantage of Calvin's excellent academics to be a strong candidate for graduate-level training. Many programs require a 3.0 minimum grade point average, but the current average GPA for acceptance is 3.55. Calvin will empower you to keep your grades strong and you skills stronger.
  • Most physical therapy schools require 50-100 observation hours in the field of physical therapy. You can gain this experience as an employee or a volunteer. Arrange to get the experience you need through the Service-Learning Center at Calvin College. Excellent advice can be found at Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service website.

Course Requirements 2014-2015

Since prerequisites vary among different physical therapy graduate programs, it’s best to check out each program's website. You could also benefit from contacting the program advisor at Calvin soon to ensure that you take the appropriate courses.

Schools in Michigan with Accredited PT Programs:

If you are interested in becoming a DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy), there are some important things you need to know regarding preparation for DPT school:

Pre-PT students declare a major which allows them to complete the pre-requisite courses required by the DPT schools. Most often, this major is Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Biology, or Allied Health Science. As long as you successfully complete the courses which satisfy the DPT programs’ requirements, you can declare almost any major you wish.

Calvin can prepare you to succeed in the rigorous competition for admittance to DPT programs around the country. Be sure to work closely with your advisor to meet the requirements for the school you wish to attend.

Special PT opportunities at Calvin

While Calvin College does maintain an articulation agreement with Andrews University, very few students select this option. This option is called a 3-3, meaning you complete your first 3 years of college at Calvin, then transfer for your senior year to Andrews University for a 1-2 DPT program. After acceptance and completion of the senior year at Andrews, a BS (bachelor’s of science) degree is awarded. Two years later, the DPT is awarded (after the sixth and final year). Thus, you would not complete an undergraduate degree at Calvin College.

The changing landscape of PT

Beginning in 2020, only Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs will be accredited, so most schools that currently offer masters of science (MS) degrees in physical therapy are currently developing DPT programs. Visit the American Physical Therapy Association for a list of accredited programs. To identify schools who offer a degree in physical therapy visit the American Physical Therapy Association.

Learn more about the field of physical therapy at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy »

Nancy Meyer

Professor, Athletic Director
Full profile


  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: